The plaza at the north end of Veterans' Memorial Park has been slowly deteriorating for several years. The proposed project includes replacing the brick pavers with a new design, including several elements that honor the military service of the veterans in Town. The full plan set is viewable here.
Yountville's Veterans' Memorial Park is the entry point of the community at the corner of Washington Street and California Drive. The State Route 29 off ramp to California Drive borders the park on its west side. The park is a favorite spot for residents of the Veterans Home and Town alike. Veterans Memorial Park hosts community events such as the annual Concerts in the Park series at the plaza on the north end and Bocce Court complex on the south end. The park was originally part of the Veterans Home property prior to the SR29 freeway construction in the late 1950’s. Following the construction, the State deeded Yountville the sliver of land remaining on the east side of SR 29 with the deed restriction for park use. The Town has made significant improvements to the park over the past 5 years including improvements to the Bocce Courts, new benches, public restrooms, replacement of asphalt paths with colored concrete paths, drinking water fountains and redwood tree grove.
The current condition of the plaza at the north end has been slowly deteriorating for a number of years. Paver brick replacement in the plaza area has been proposed for several years in the Capital Improvement Program (CIP). The project was initially planned for FY14/15. Since design and construction were proposed for two other parks in town these past two years, the Town Council decided to do a more comprehensive redesign of the plaza area with the paver replacement to meet current ADA accessibility requirements and future potential parks and recreation programming uses. The new design also implements drought tolerant landscaping as well. Town Staff issued a Request for Proposals (RFP) for the conceptual design of the Town’s parks. After reviewing the responses, staff selected Lori Cagwin Landscape Architecture as the design consultant for the Veterans Memorial Park project.
The two conceptual plans were presented for consideration to the Parks and Recreation Advisory Committee (PRAC) on January 21, 2016. The PRAC approved Conceptual Plan #2 that included a more rounded seat wall surrounding the center plaza. PRAC had additional discussion regarding the location of the flag pole, shade for the amphitheater, and use of non-fruiting trees for further design considerations.
On February 2, 2016 the conceptual plans were brought before the Town Council. At that meeting, during public comment period, a member of the Veterans Home suggested relocating the flagpole to a more suitable location. After hearing the gentlemen speak, the Town Council requested staff research and receive feedback on where the flagpole should be placed from a source recognized as having the capability and training to give such advice.
On March 3, 2016 staff conducted the first of several conversations with Jack Striegel, the Senior Architect for Capital Assets and Facilities Management with the California Department of Veterans Affairs. Lori Cagwin the project Landscape Architect sat in on the phone conversation as well. During the conversation several options were discussed with a “Superior Position” as the primary concern and design consideration for the Flagpole placement.
The most suitable location for placing two flag poles was agreed to be the park entrance on the South West Corner of California Blvd and Washington Streets. This placement was a “Superior Position” in the opinion of Mr. Striegel. There was also the recommendation to include both the State flag and the Missing in Action or M.I.A. flag as well. These two additional flags will be placed on a shorter flagpole, but could share the same pole as noted by Mr. Striegel.
The conceptual plan now includes these new flagpole locations as recommended. There were also some additional improvements included in this revised design. Including a “Star” motif that will be in several elements in the park design. Most notably in the center of the concrete paved area, and also in the drain inlets as well.
On May 19, 2016 The Parks and Recreation Advisory Committee (PRAC) was asked to provide feedback and recommendations on the revised conceptual plans. The body voted unanimously in favor of the revised plan including the new flag pole locations and additional design elements.
On June 7, 2016 the conceptual plan was presented to the council for review and feedback. The council recommended additional design elements to more clearly honor Veterans, and to pay homage to the historical tie to the Veterans Home as part of the original campus.
On June 15, 2016 Staff conducted a conference call with Mr. Striegel to enlist his experience with design elements that would help better identify with, and honor veterans. During the call there was also a discussion regarding the medallions and symbols inset into the paved surface. Mr. Striegel assured staff that it was acceptable etiquette. The discussion also included the story board and some of the details for that display piece as well.
The plan and project additional elements now include a brass plaque medallion to honor each branch of the service placed within the “Star” symbol at the center of the park plaza area. A “Story Board” that will include the history of the park and Veterans Home. On the entry to the park inset into the concrete will be a short phrase honoring all Veterans and the inception dates of each branch of the service. There will also be a new space for a piece of art work that will be a Veterans /Patriotic themed sculpture to be commissioned using the Arts Commission and a public Ad Hoc committee including Veterans Home members. Staff is recommending a budget of $20,000.00 for this commissioned art sculpture.
On July 25, 2016 the Town Manager and Public Works Director presented the plan to the Veterans Home Allied Council of Delegates and Home administrative staff at the Veterans Home. They were asked specifically to provide input on the plaza’s “Star” centerpiece. A majority of the members of the council voted to support the design that included a brass symbol of each branch around the “Star “symbol. They also provided positive feedback on the other design elements as well and supported the project and appreciated the veterans’ emphasis and connection to the Veterans Home. A copy of the Town Manager's presentation is available here.
During it's August 2, 2016 regular meeting, the Yountville Town Council adopted Resolution 16-3361, which approved and adopted plans and specifications for the project. To read the staff reports or to watch video of the meeting, please click here.
Staff solicited formal bids for the project on August 9, 2016 and held a pre-bid meeting at the park site on August 23, 2016 with eight contractors/subcontractors in attendance. The Town received three bids. the bid from Fieldstone Construction Company was the apparent lowest responsive and responsible bidder at $488,055 and was awarded the bid at the September 20, 2016 Council meeting at $482,055 with removal of two of the eight picnic tables.
Work is projected to begin on or around October 17, 2016.